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***Work in progress*** Please be patient while I find all my resource links and update them.
I’ve put this page together for two reasons. One reason is to help myself keep track of the resources I’ve found especially helpful. And the other is to help others who may be earlier on the author journey than myself. I still consider myself to be new to the world of being an author, but I would also like to think I’ve learned a lot since I started pursuing this path. Since I intend to constantly be learning, I’ll be making occasional changes as I discover new resources or have new tips to include.
Overall helpful resources
- Elise Kova’s website, Patreon, and mailing list. Every month, her newsletter has a different author-related topic. This ranges from writing to marketing and beyond. I’ve found every single topic and bit of advice she’s sent helpful in my growth as an author. The website includes several of the topics that have been covered in the mailing list. Her Patreon started in 2020 and it has some great insights about the writing process and what needs to change in editing.
- Reedsy has a bunch of resources and free courses for various levels of learning.
- K. M. Shea’s resource page has a wealth of information I’ve found helpful.
- Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entreprenuer by Joanna Penn. Although a little boring at times, this book covers everything I thought to ask, and some that I didn’t, about the business side of being an author. The business aspect is the less fun part of this for me, so maybe it wouldn’t be boring for someone actually interested in that part.
- Strategic Series Author: Plan, Write, and Publish a Series to Maximize Readership and Income by Crystal Hunt. This book is a pretty well rounded one that mostly focuses on the strategy of writing for profit.
How to write
- Book Architecture by Stuart Horwitz. I like how this book gives a different approach to plotting, allowing for a more flexible structure and creative flow.
- Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker. This book is mostly focused on helping pantsers (writers who don’t like planning), but it can be useful for anyone. I like how easy her process makes it to pin down the most important parts of a story’s structure.
- Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes. I wish I’d read this book before I started writing. Most writing books don’t focus on the romance side of things and it’s hard to know where romance should fit within the rigid structures. This book was an eye-opener for me and I think my future books will be stronger for it.
- How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method and How to Write Dynamite Scenes Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingerman. The snowflake method isn’t 100% for me. But there were a lot of tips that resonated with me, and a lot of what I was already doing was almost a modified version of this. Outside of just the snowflake method, I felt there were a few key things to keep in mind while writing that I needed to hear.
- Jamie Gold’s resources– Although there are resources that go way beyond just writing, the only ones I’ve really checked out so far are for the writing side of things. I fall in the middle of the planner-pantser spectrum, so I don’t always use them, but when I feel like I need to review my structure, I find the beat sheets helpful.
- Any office program like Word, Pages, Libre Office, or Google Docs – Initially, I used Libre Office, which is an open source software identical to Word or Pages. But the problem with those programs is that it gets really annoying when you try to find anything to revise and edit. Regardless of my feelings on the clunkiness of the programs for writing a book, I have needed to use Libre Office during the editing phase because my editor uses Word. I do like to use Google Docs for the beta reading stage because it’s easily shared and the comments section works nice. When I do this, I like to break my story up into chapters with a link to the next one at the end.
- Scrivener – I really like using Scrivener for writing and organizing my thoughts. It holds multiple documents that can be organized to fit your needs. There is a little bit of a learning curve to using it, and I certainly am not using everything it can do, but I felt that it didn’t take me too long to learn how to use what I needed to get out of it. Since I can find what I’m looking for quickly and easily, I feel like after I learned how to use it, it really sped up my process. The program is inexpensive and they offer a free trial for 30 days of use for the Mac and Windows versions.
- 4thewords – This is a gamified way to write. I don’t store my writing projects in there, though I could. I use this more for motivation when I’m stuck than anything else. The base price is $4 a month, but it can be less under the right circumstances.
Whether working with a professional, an AI, or with a volunteer, it’s important to weigh any feedback you get with what you know about your story. If multiple people say the same thing, you will want to strongly take it into consideration, but at the end of the day, it’s still your story, so you should go with what feels right to you. The only other thing I have to say about this in general, is that it’s impossible to have a perfect book. Do your best to make it as high in quality as you can, but don’t get trapped in trying to make it perfect.
Facebook groups-I use these for big picture feedback before I hire a professional editor, but I do my best to self edit before approaching anyone here. Since it’s based on people volunteering their time, the feedback is hit and miss. It’s expected that you help others with their WIPs at least as much as you ask for help.
- YA Fantasy Critique
- BetaReader Connect
- Alpha Beta Readers Inc
- Beta Readers & Critiques
- Author Critique and Beta Readers
- Editors Helping Authors This one is a little different from the others. I only found out about it recently, so I haven’t used it yet. But from what I understand about it, it’s more for submitting small parts of your work that you’re stuck on and the editors in the group help you out for free.
Self editing- Out of the 3 programs I use, Grammarly is the only one that I’ve figured out exactly where I want it in my workflow and it’s also the only one I haven’t moved onto a premium license for. Both ProWriting Aid and AutoCrit have features that are great for checking on the bigger items like story structure and pacing, so I’m still figuring out which I want to use first.
- Grammarly-Unlike the first two, I didn’t find any value in the paid version. Most of the paid version suggestions are all style related and it didn’t mesh with my writing style. What I use Grammarly for is proofreading before sending it out to early readers and as a final pass after professional editing before I publish. Don’t blindly accept all suggestions, because there are plenty that are wrong for the context that I’ve seen.
- Wrapped up Writing– I’ve worked with Tamara at Wrapped up Writing on all three of my published books for developmental, line, and copy editing. She is positive, encouraging, and knowledgeable. Her services aren’t cheap, but she has helped me learn a lot on my journey.
There are people who can be hired to do formatting for you, but I have never even looked into those services, so I can’t say anything about that. What I have used is a combination of programs, most of which are free.
- Scrivener exports an ePub file that I’ve never found any problems with. It could be something I did wrong, but the mobi file seems to want to put the contents in the wrong place, so I don’t export them from Scrivener.
- Instead, I export ePub and use Calibre, an open source software to easily convert it for me.
- For paperback formatting, I’ve always exported a docx file from Scrivener and used Libre Docs to work on that. It’s a bit more involved to do than formatting an ebook, but I felt like it was worth learning.
- Alternatively, Vellum is a popular option. If you have a Mac, it can be downloaded for free and you only pay when you want to export. I’m currently figuring out if I like this program or not
If you’re only publishing an ebook, then you only need to worry about fonts with your cover. But you need to make sure that whatever you are using on your book cover, marketing materials, and physical books is something you are allowed to use commercially and always read the license for any potential restrictions. Most of the fonts preinstalled on your computer will only be permitted for personal use. So this section is for websites I’ve found that grant commercial licenses for fonts.
- Creative Fabrica. Although not everything is free on this website, they have a lot of free content. What I really like about the site is that I don’t have to think about the license. Everything, whether free or purchased, comes with a commercial license and minimal restrictions. And if you visit daily, there is always a free font of the day as well as a couple other daily freebies.
- 1001fonts.com is a pretty good site to search for free fonts. Just make sure to filter the results to include commercial use because there are fonts on the site that are for personal use only.
- fontspace.com also has a mix of commercial and personal use fonts for free.
I feel like this is my weakest place, so if you find any amazing resources that makes this easy, please share them with me.
- How to Write a Series: A Guide to Series Types and Structure Plus Troubleshooting Tips and Marketing Tactics by Sara Rosett. I have this book in the marketing section because the rest of it didn’t offer me anything I didn’t already know. But if you’re just starting out, then maybe you would find the entire book to be helpful.
- Facebook groups-I’m not listing anything specific here because the groups that will work best for you will depend on the story you’re writing. There are tons of groups available for specific genres and types of writers, so I think you would get more benefit by searching and finding one that is best for you.
- Book distributors